Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Photographing An Arty Flower Shot

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Flowers and Plants

Arty Style Flower Photography - Learn how to shoot flowers in a way that'll make your shots stand out from the crowd.

Posted:
Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off


Setting Up

The location for this shoot was a living room, making most of the light pouring through the window. Direct sunlight is too harsh for this work so the set up was placed away from the window. A macro lens is ideal for this subject and it's always a good idea to mount your camera on a tripod for stability. Use a remote release, if you have one, to fire the shutter and if your camera has it, the mirror lock-up facility can also help minimise any risk of camera shake. 

The background needs to be plain and a piece of black material will work fine. The examples shown here were shot against a black fleece draped over the back of a chair and some on black slate slabs which goes to show you really can use anything! 

Focusing was done manually, which is always best for macro work when the lens can search for focus and aperture-priority was used, along with the exposure compensation facility to fine-tune the result.

With a white lily against a black backdrop the risk of poor exposure is quite high, so you may need to make minor adjustments as you go along. 

The Shoot

Lilly
 

For the above shot, the lens was set to its smallest aperture (f/36) for maximum depth-of-field which gave a shutter speed of 2secs. All the pictures here were done at ISO200.

Next, the flowers were moved closer to the camera and the lens was opened to its maximum aperture to throw the closer flower out of focus.

Lilly

Closer still, these shots focus on the flower's stamen, with the shot to the right excluding the black backdrop completely. Depth-of-field when you’re this close to the subject is minimal even at a small aperture, as the images to the right shot at f/36 shows.

Lily close up Lily close up


Quite a few cameras, such as the Olympus OM-D, have a multiple exposure feature which will allow two or more exposures to be captured on the same frame. To create the effect shown in the following shot you need to capture one exposure sharp and one totally defocused.

Lily multiple exposure

If photographing the flower straight-on doesn't produce the look you're trying to create, try laying it down on a plain surface. The flower in the following shot had to be held in place with a piece of tape to open up the petal.

Lily


Black & White

Most digital cameras, even modest compacts, have a monochrome mode, which offers a quick way to enjoy black & white photography. However, convenient though this mode is, the image file straight out of the camera can lack contrast and may need some work in your editing software if you’re going to get the most from it.

The shot on the left is the JPEG monochrome file straight out of the camera and it looks a little flat. The right image is the same shot but the Levels were tweaked in Photoshop which gives more intense blacks and brighter whites.

Before and after level adjustment

It’s worth remembering that if you’re shooting in JPEG format, images shot in the monochrome setting will record in black & white only and you can’t produce a colour image should you change your mind later.

Shoot Raw and even though the camera monitor might show the mono result you have the full colour file at your disposal.

The best option, if your camera has it, is to shoot in Raw and fine quality JPEG at the same time. 

Many cameras have the option of letting you modify your shots using contrast filters (yellow, orange and red are the most popular), toning effects and Art Filters. Some of which can work well with this type of photography so it's worth experimenting with. If you apply Art Filters to your images with the Olympus OM-D you can see how the image will look 'live' without having to take and preview your shots, saving time. 

Used sparingly, toning monochrome images is a very effective technique and if your camera doesn't allow you to apply effects while shooting, you can always adjust your shots in image editing software.


Find out more about Olympus and their products by clicking these links:

Win An Olympus XZ-10 High End Compact







Explore More

Spring Flower Photography In Towns

Photographing Spring Flowers In Towns

Take your camera out in town to photograph the flora that is...

Low Key Flower Photography Tips

Low Key Flower Photography

Get out your black backgrounds and photograph some flowers t...

10 Top Tips On Shooting Daffodils

How To Photograph Daffodils

Spring is here and daffodils are blooming so with that in mi...

Comments

AnneB50
AnneB50 e2 Member 181 forum postsAnneB50 vcard Scotland18 Constructive Critique Points
21 Apr 2013 - 11:21 PM

Really useful advice, thank you

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.